Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

Although it’s never a welcome sight to open a dishwasher and realize the machine hasn’t drained fully, try not to panic just yet. You may be able to deal with the issue before you have to call a repair person or buy a brand-new dishwasher.

Standing water in your dishwasher could have a number of of causes some of which can be easy to figure out. Therefore, before you call a dishwasher repair service here is a selection of possible things you can troubleshoot yourself. A few of which aren’t even related to the dishwasher itself.

Ensure the cycle wasn’t interrupted

If you’re lucky the fact your dishwasher hasn’t emptied may not be a problem at all. Alternatively, the program may have been stopped mid-way.

The program could have been cut short for any number of of reasons. Children pushing buttons, accidentally pressing on the buttons, a power cut or opening the dishwasher mid-cycle might all interrupt the cycle and mean your machine doesn’t drain.

If you suspect this might be the circumstance, or you feel it might be worthwhile checking run your machine again on a quick program.

A number machines may have an empty function so it’s well worth checking your instructions or checking online to find out.

Examine the waste disposal

If your dishwasher is plumbed into your disposal inspect this before you move on as an obstructed disposal will stop your dishwasher from draining. Run the waste disposal using fast running water to ensure there are no blockages.

If you do find a blockage drain unclogger or a plunger may be used to remove the blockage and this may rectify the fault.

Examine the plumbing for blockages

If you sink is draining inefficiently this might signify an issue with the plumbing rather than a problem with your dishwasher.

In the case that the sink is draining slowly you may attempt putting some bicarb and white vinegar down the drain, leaving it for a while and subsequently rinsing it through with boiling water.

A sink plunger might also be used to attempt to dislodge the blockage.

This might be sufficient to allow your machine to drain so start a quick program now. If not you may remove the standing water by hand using a bowl as well as a sponge and troubleshoot a few more likely causes.

Make certain to disconnect the machine to stay safe.

If during any one of these checks you suspect you have detected and repaired the error you don’t need to go through the rest of the steps. Just complete an empty cycle to ensure the dishwasher is repaired.

Inspect and clean the filters

Any number of things could block the filters including corn kernels, labels from jars, plastic film lids and broken glass. Clear film could also be difficult to see if you aren’t looking for it.

Remove the filter and scrub it thoroughly before putting it back in place. Not all filters are obvious and straightforward to remove so you may need to consult the instructions for this.

Is the waste water pipe obstructed?

The next component to inspect is the waste hose. Stuck food, a kink in the hose or a crushed hose may all stop your machine from draining.

Depending on the position of the waste hose (normally the ribbed one) you might have the means to inspect it simply by lifting away the kick board or you could be required to pull the dishwasher out from the wall.

Look at the hose in the first instance to see if there are any kinks or it’s been squashed. You may have the means to fix these issues by hand which should fix the issue, but be aware that when this has occurred the probability of it occurring again is massively increased so you could need to purchase a replacement hose.

If you are unable to see any obvious kinks or obstructions you can remove the waste water hose from the pump and blow through it to figure out if there are any blockages. Make sure you line the floor with newspaper or towels first as there may still be water in the pipe.

If you can’t blow air through the waste hose this may be the reason your dishwasher isn’t emptying.

Disconnect the hose at the sink end and give it a good flush through to clear the obstruction. If you can’t remove the obstruction or the waste hose is split or damaged purchase a brand-new one. If you could remove the blockage then re-attach the hose and start a short cycle to double check that you have solved the error.

You can also check the point where the hose connects under your sink as well. This is a common spot for a build-up of gunk so if you happen to remove the waste pipe give this point a good scrub as well.

Inspect the drain valve

You may manually check the drain valve to ensure it hasn’t stopped working. The drain valve will generally be found at the base of the machine on the valve bracket. Check your manual if you’re unsure.

Depressing the valve or wiggling it a bit should be sufficient to tell you if it’s stuck. If you are able to see any debris stopping it from moving get rid of this. If you can’t, this could be a good time to get in touch with a plumber unless you are happy in ordering and repairing the part on your own.

Examine your pump is not blocked

Your dishwasher pump uses impellers that may get obstructed by broken glass or other debris. Check your impellers aren’t obstructed by removing the safety cover and ensuring that the impellers are free to move.

Run your machine and listen for any unusual sounds

If your dishwasher is making funny noises your dishwasher pump or motor may be damaged and need replacing.

Call a repair person

If you have been through the above list and the fault persists, or you have reason to believe the pump, pump valve or motor are not working, it could be the moment you need to call for help.

At least having attempted to investigate what is wrong you have avoided having to pay a hefty call-out charge for a blocked hose.

More Dishwasher Problems:

  • Dishwasher Being Loud
  • Dishwasher Not Turning On
  • Dishwasher Leaking
  • Dishwasher Not Drying
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